I’m beginning this series of inspirations with the classic Marilyn. She is the most familiar and known pinup. I’m sure many of you already see her in pop culture from tshirts, posters, bags, even celebrities and tv shows being inspired by her. (Madonna circa “Material Girl”, Anna Nicole Smith, Smash)
She had a turbulant childhood, in and out of foster care homes, and her mother was instilutionalized. She was married at 16 due to the war, but of course later divorced. She was discovered modeling for a weapons factory that she worked at which eventually lead to her career. She was persued as the “dumb blonde”, but what people didn’t actually know was that Marilyn was highly intelligent. She was a consistent reader, a fan of Freud, and a writer.
My favorite films are Some Like It Hot, How to Marry a Millionare, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,Bus Stop and the iconic Seven Year Itch. (White dress with the gentle breeze sound familiar?)
Aside from her obvious reasons of inspiration, she inspires me the most from her modeling in her early days. Circa 1948-49 was her utmost pinup days. Her poses, sweet smile and flawless body really defines pinup. You can see how young she is, and how different her face is! Pre-platinum blonde days and still untouched by the industry. (Apparently she had a chin implant, rhino plasty and breast agmuntation, and of course a change to hair color all in suggestion of her studio.) Regardless, she is naturally beautiful and I love looking at her early photos just because she has no idea what is to come.
A few years later, with a few movies to her resume and popular demand, she would be the first cover girl of Playboy magzine in 1953. Featured was one of her first nude pinups taken in 1949. (Tom Kelley’s ‘The Red Velvet’ session)
Iconic, beautiful and downright the original Marilyn is the inpiration not just to me, but definietly all pinups.